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- Matthew 'Nadeshot' Hagg, one of the most iconic gamers of all time, has lost a bet on Twitter to the gaming community in a dramatic turn of events. Recently, 100 Thieves content creator Erind.
Matthew Haag, aka Nadeshot, is the founder and CEO of the esports team 100 Thieves and also has two YouTube channels with a total of over four million subscribers. On one of these channels, simply called Nadeshot, the former professional Call of Duty player occasionally posts challenge videos such as the 24-hour camping challenge or playing beer pong with a new iPhone as the potential prize.
This penchant for completing fun challenges recently carried over to Twitter and perhaps went unexpectedly awry when Nadeshot made a bet with Froste, a 100 Thieves Twitch streamer. Froste posted a tweet asking Nadeshot how many retweets it would take for him to get a tattoo that says, “Sex is temporary, gaming is forever.” Within one minute, Nadeshot replied, “100,000.”
100 Thieves’ CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag expressed his own frustration with Valorant recently on Twitter. As Nadeshot has attempted climbing to Radiant since the beginning of episode two, he peaked at Immortal before falling back down to Diamond elo. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.
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For many Twitter users, this number might seem astronomical and therefore a safe bet for Nadeshot to make. Nadeshot posted on his Twitter account that “Froste don’t have that type of pull.” However, Froste is a well-known content creator with over 200,000 followers on Twitter, another 80,000 on Twitch, and perhaps Nadeshot also underestimated the power of social media. In a little over two hours, Froste’s tweet had surpassed 100,000 retweets and the bet was won. The Twitch clip of Nadeshot learning that he now had to get a new tattoo can be seen here.
1 million retweets in 24 hours and you pick where it goes on my body(face excluded) https://t.co/LYyMQC2COX— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) February 26, 2021
To up the ante, Nadeshot then stated that if Froste’s Twitter post received 1 million retweets within 24 hours, Froste would be able to pick where on his body the new gaming-themed tattoo will go, face excluded. Nadeshot was playing it safe this time because, even with the visibility the challenge had received in just a few hours, it seemed unlikely that the new, higher bar could be reached so quickly.
And this time, Nadeshot came out on top. Despite retweets from multiple accounts with millions of followers—such as Ninja, Valkyrae, Zedd, and Call of Duty streamer CouRage—the Twitter post is currently sitting at only 235,000 retweets, with the 24-hour deadline long past.
Froste’s challenge likely came from a tweet Nadeshot had made earlier in the day displaying a new tattoo on his forearm. “Another one down, a million more to go until this arm is filled up.” Froste soon replied with his suggestion for a new tattoo. Ultimately, the Twitter challenge, even if it results in Nadeshot getting a tattoo that’s perhaps not entirely desired, was a good PR move for both content creators. The bet was trending on Twitter for several hours, and Froste has already acquired a number of new social media followers.
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After adding nine teams across North America and Europe, Activision Blizzard's future franchised Call of Duty league hit a snag Thursday: 100 Thieves, the organization founded by Call of Duty legend Matthew 'Nadeshot' Haag, will not participate.
In a video released on Twitter, Nadeshot explained the reasons behind his decision, including the cost of entry -- a reported $25 million, sources told ESPN in March -- and the league's insistence that teams make their brands Call of Duty-specific or create new sister brands for the league.
Nadeshot once captained the most transformative organization in Call of Duty esports history, OpTic Gaming, and has since built a world-renowned brand of his own. His 100 Thieves, which won two Call of Duty majors in 2019 and finished second in the Call of Duty World Championship in Los Angeles in August, will move on as a bystander to the future of premier competition in the game that made both the team and its founder famous.
The news, while heartbreaking for Nadeshot, his organization and the team's fans, shouldn't come as a surprise. That $25 million price tag is a big bet on a game that, over the past few years, has had relatively marginal success. Call of Duty was once the most popular game in the planet -- combining the rise of YouTube and content creators, like Nadeshot, with stellar game releases, such as 'Modern Warfare 2,' 'Black Ops' and others.
But a lot has changed since then. Fortnite is the biggest game in the world, with others like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive leading the esports space. Slots in the League of Legends Championship Series, the franchised North American leg of that game's worldwide ecosystem, are selling at around $30 million.
The 2018 League of Legends World Championship peaked at 44 million concurrent viewers around the world, according to data released by developer Riot Games. How can Call of Duty -- which capped out at nearly 120,000 English viewers on Twitch during its world championship -- compare, even if audience streams for other platforms were added?
Like the Overwatch League, which is also run by Activision Blizzard, the future Call of Duty league offers a familiar value proposition to sports team owners: geolocated franchises with the opportunity to sell tickets and local sponsorship. That's why six of the nine teams in the league -- Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York and Paris -- have sports team owners as their primary investors.
Nadeshot Haley Twitter
Eight of the nine cities in the Call of Duty franchised league are also represented in the Overwatch League and backed by the same millionaires and billionaires. For those buyers, the $25 million expenditure is a way of doubling down on Activision Blizzard and trust in that company's CEO, Bobby Kotick. Although the city-based model has commercial appeal in traditional sports, there's no data to suggest it works in esports yet. The Overwatch League and Call of Duty will be the faces of that experiment in 2020.
If you're Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, Minnesota Vikings chairman Zygi Wilf or the New York Mets' Wilpon family, $25 million is a drop in the bucket. But if you're 100 Thieves, that's a huge investment -- one that could make or break your startup in the future -- and it's arguable if the reward outweighs the risk.
It's not that 100 Thieves can't afford the league, nor that its leadership, like Nadeshot or former Activision Blizzard senior vice president Mike Sepso -- both with extensive backgrounds in Call of Duty -- don't understand the opportunity. It's the opposite, actually; these are two of the most knowledgeable people in the business, facing a long-term but risky opportunity for the future of their team, and saying no.
If 100 Thieves can't see value in the franchising risk, who can?
This is about more than Call of Duty for Nadeshot's organization, too: 100 Thieves field teams in multiple esports. How can you convince others trust in your business judgement if you sink over $25 million in franchise fees and operation costs into a league that falls flat? Who will give you money again if you use most or all of it on one project? For 100 Thieves and many endemic startup brands, the risk of burning investors and damaging their reputations in discussions with future backers is too high.
Nadeshot Twitter Tattoo
It'll be sad to see Nadeshot & Co. absent from professional Call of Duty in 2020. The opportunity to reenter, at likely a higher price, will come up in the future and maybe then there's enough data to back up a decision that large. But for now, there's not, and 100 Thieves won't be the last major endemic brand to Call of Duty that abstains from participating moving forward.